Lionel Messi nets his 600th career goal with magical free-kick

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

Simeone might be gunning for victory at the Nou Camp but was full of praise for the impact of his opposite number this season. The French worldwide has scored 15 goals this season.

At the beginning of February, Barcelona were galloping away with the La Liga title, leading their nearest challengers Atletico Madrid by 11 points. Their season total for goals in La Liga is only 45. However, a pair of draws in Barcelona's last four games allowed Atletico to move back into the title race.

The Argentinian shook his head but soon recovered, moments later escaping a cage of four Atletico defenders before driving a shot straight at Jan Oblak. If we win, we go eight points clear and that's the intention.

"Costa brings all we expected from him - ambition, hard work passion and attacking power which gives us more possibilities", he said. The striker has scored three goals and assisted two in the seven matches he has played, forming a unsafe partnership with Antoine Griezmann.

Messi has repeatedly proven himself in the big games, too, scoring 25 goals against Real Madrid and finding the back of the net in Champions League and Copa del Rey finals.

The France star followed up a hat-trick in the 5-2 win at Sevilla last weekend by scoring every goal in the 4-0 win over Leganes on Wednesday, his alliance with Diego Costa since the latter's return from Chelsea proving particularly potent.

It was one of those goals. Up front, the unsafe duo of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi will be the key men for Atletico Madrid to watch.

Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann had been largely peripheral figures for the first 73 minutes and when the pair finally did combine, the France global blazed high and wide from outside the box.

But after a transfer ban was implemented on the Spanish club, the 26-year-old chose to stay at Madrid.

In the first meeting between these sides this season, Barcelona were able to escape with a 1-1 draw after Saurez scored a late equalizer.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, who saw midfielder Andres Iniesta limp off with a hamstring injury before the break, had played down the importance of the match, claiming it would not be a decider.

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